Rocket Pops & Shots

 So I had another night downtown, in Over-The-Rhine bar hopping with a few friends and my boyfriend. We started at a brewery and had a few drinks while catching up. It was an old friend of mine from high school who reached out. One of her friends I've had brunch with before came my boyfriend, and myself. We had a few drinks, chatted among the sound, then got a text from somebody that I used to associate with. I used to give nonsensical names to the people like him- possibly even him- that I spoke of so I wouldn't speak their actual name. I know that anyone who examines my Instagram can decipher who most of these characters actually signify. But for the sake of it, and since this narrative involves an old friend from my days of nicknaming people- I'll proceed with it.
 So this old girlfriend of mine from high school, Serena, gets this text from someone that isn't Gossip Girl but is still someone we both know. He connects us with the name of a bar down the street and we decide to make our way there and try out that scene instead. We make our way to this arcade bar I've heard about from virtually everyone. Now- before we even get there I'm feeling a little good from the pre-game I did back at home before we proceeded to the brewery. Don't worry- I sat passenger and just played F*** Being Friends by Jesse Reyes over and over repeatedly for my friends. It was decided at the brewery that I would be DD for the night but once at the arcade bar, I decided to state veto. I downloaded Uber back on my phone as soon as I saw a Firecracker Rocketpop in a glass of vodka and soda. I ordered the drink and sipped it quickly as songs I loved immediately started playing. I felt a little silly at first in faux leather leggings and a long cutout V neck top. But as the vodka slipped in I let loose and had fun at the bar. I slipped my jacket off my shoulders and grabbed my boyfriend, pulling him over to dance with me.

Serena and I danced to a few songs, I played a few rounds of Mario and Ninja Turtle games with my boyfriend later dancing with him making a total loving fool of myself. I was having so much fun that when Serena and I's old mutual friend- Fred's roommate, my ex's roommate, Serena's sometimes friend (I'll call him) Jay- showed up I didn't see him there standing dressed there like our parents in the 90's in light blue jeans and a navy blue sweater. We said our hellos as he said his too then quickly departed towards the bar to get another drink. My little group stayed together and made our way around the bar. I continued the dancing, the kissing on cheeks, the playing video games, and the drinks with friends. I met a few of Serena's other friends too- something I've always admired about her was she knew everyone. At some point though my boyfriend spun me around and pulled me close to him and whispered in my ear that he thinks he sees my ex- "the bad one".
 Now unmistakably I'm okay since I'm sitting here in my family room with my plants bathing in the sunlight listening to music. I'll discuss everything regarding him and how I reacted later I suppose but- this night was like a walking line of ghosts of exes past. It didn't bug me though, as soon as I walked into the bar I some guy who has been Snapchatting me trying to get with me since I first moved to Clifton. Later in the night, I made some awkward encounters with old neighbors- my city is so large yet so small.
 But after he said that, and Serena made a comment too- we decided to take our party elsewhere and head to another bar. We told Jay we'd maybe see him later- and we held true to that statement, but we took our party our the doors and past the arcade bar three more times since a few of us forgot to close our tabs. We made our way further down Main street and went to a bar I haven't been to since spring. I went one night with a Summer friend and had my boyfriend and his friend meet us up there. That night was a drastic difference to the Friday night we all walked in. It was pretty much crowded from wall to wall- I quickly said hi to the bartenders I knew then made my way to the dance floor with everyone again. I find it so funny how we've upgraded from high school functions to bars with areas to dance with each other. We stayed there for a bit, people watching and ordering more drinks. We talked to a few people that were out for the night and about an hour later said our goodbyes then headed to the last bar.
 At about one in the morning, we made it to our last bar and instantly I saw a few old neighbors from my last apartment there- I pushed Serena past and filled her in on why my boyfriend and those two guys can't be in the same room at once. Five seconds later Serena and I were saying hi to them since she knew him too with my boyfriend behind me. It was a simple exchange but internally awkward for me, entertaining for Serena, and literally nothing for my partner. After the encounter, I dragged everyone back to the side of the place and danced our hearts out until the bar closed at two in the morning. We danced to throwbacks and new songs and oldies our parents know. It felt so nice to just get out and dance the night away literally running from bar to bar as to keep out of the cold. Though any night out usually carries some kind of a mess- I say the price you pay for going out during the dark- I enjoyed the blissful pocket moments between the excitement and loud music.
 Grabbing Gomez's with my boyfriend while Serena and her friend found our location. All four of us playing Ninja Turtles against each other. Catching up with Jay for a hot second and seeing a snippet of the now compared to the past. Jumping up and down to old songs with an old neighbor from what feels like an old life. The detour to Clifton at four in the morning with Serena talking about life. The heart to heart with her friend back at my apartment at three am about relationships and paces. Though the mess of the night was in fact very, very messy, I loved all of it. From the ghosts of boys past, the Rocketpops and too strong shots, and the almost fight with a couple of interns at a pizza parlor. I always enjoy a night out though. Here's to Holiday parties and more nights to come.

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